York mob A Joker’s Rage describe themselves as “a young Spandau Ballet in face-paint playing Metallica’s instruments”. They certainly have a unique way of describing themselves, but is the music they create as unique as their cryptic description?
On their debut full-length album, ‘The Rain Dance’, they are setting out to prove that it is more than unique.
‘Temptress’ opens the album with a down-tuned riff that sounds like a mix of nu-metal and 80s glam rock, and then when the drums kick in, it turns into a proper dance track. Zakky Boy Taylor‘s vocals sound unbelievably powerful in the chorus, while the guitars have an undeniable groove to them.
‘Shylock’ starts with an ominous piano effect, but that quickly makes way for another heavy riff. The intro is sure to get any metal fan head banging, and when the verse hits, that’s when the mosh pit will start. After a sinister voice growls “Throw me a lifeline”, the chorus slows back down to a head banging speed.
After a strange intro filled with odd sound effects, ‘Secrets’ starts like the opening theme to a war movie, with a sinister piano line and snare pattern, which is then transferred to an epic-sounding synth when the heavy guitars kick in, a la ‘The Black Parade’. When the vocals kick in, it reverts back to the piano. Near the end, an epic, near hypnotising solo from Adam Gauton takes us to another place entirely.
‘Screaming With The Lights Out’ opens with a fast-paced drum fill, mixing punk rock and math rock together seamlessly. The chorus goes right back to the nu-metal feel.
‘Stars Align’ gives us a satisfying end to ‘The Rain Dance’. The instrumentation has an optimistic, forward-looking feel to it. The anthemic chorus hits hard, and wouldn’t be too far away from home in a stadium.
From 80s rock, to nu-metal, to punk, to math rock, A Joker’s Rage encapsulates a myriad of styles to keep any rock fan happy, and on ‘The Rain Dance’ they sound like they’d be a perfect fit to play both a small club and a massive stadium.
20/All things Scottish Rock/Emo/Metal